Skittles & Bits

Are you ready for some more BASEBALL!!

It’s Monday night (9/1) and the HDL just took the weekend off to enjoy something other than HDL baseball.

If you are like me, you hung with your family, ate some good food, did a few chores around the house, watched some (College) football and followed your favorite MLB team (Cards and Redbirds).

So now that the week off is behind us, I would like to make a few comments to get everyone focused on how this 2014 HDL season will finish.

Records since July 1st:

We have four teams who are all playing competitive baseball.  Since July 1st (8 weeks ago), CDS Gray is (6-2); Lomax Blue is (4-4); Peterbilt Red is (4-4); Prudential Orange is (2-5) Wow! what a remarkable turn of events!

Forget the earlier records before July 1st, even though, overall, Prudential Orange has a regular season record of (12-6) they have lost some close, tough contests since the HDL implemented Wood Bats.  Some of the Orange team players have implicated the Wood bats as the major factor of some of their recent losses.  That may be true, but their opponents had the same challenge since many of them had not, repeatedly, used a wood bat in many years, if you discount the limited wood bat schedule we experimented with last year.

On the other hand, the Peterbilt Red team had a record of (0-8) before the switch to Wood. Before July 1st, the Red team was losing games by more than 7 runs per game.  This seems to indicate they are a weaker team with metal bats.  But this is probably not true.  What changed?  Their team pitching started pitching better.  Their defense made more routine plays and started moving players around for better results. Their hitters were adapting to the wood bats. Their overall baseball confidence level is up at least 50% from the first half of season.

TEAM Stats:

Looking at team statistics shows that the Orange team still has the most potent lineup any pitcher in the HDL has to face,  Orange Team is hitting .344 overall. The next best team average belongs to the Lomax Blue Team, hitting an astounding .325 overall.  Next the Peterbilt Red team is hitting .281 overall and believe it or not, the CDS Gray team is only hitting .265 overall. Their team average is depressed by their high frequency of strikeouts (149) and lowest number of base-on-balls in the HDL (71).

In the end, pitching will determine what team comes out on top at the end of the season. ERA-wise, the Prudential Orange has the strongest lineup with James Skinner, Nick Harris and Jodie Wolfe.  Their team ERA is under 6.00.  The next best ERA belongs to Blue and Gray teams.  Both teams’ ERA’s are under 8.00. Yet, don’t count out the Peterbilt Reds with Kevin Latham having an outstanding season at 6.10 and closing fast is Andrew Waddell at 6.46. Andrew’s ERA is much higher than his record breaking year in 2013 but considering his struggles during first half of season, no one will count Mr. Waddell out entering the post-season.

Stay Healthy! Please:

A few other factors making the post season interesting is injuries. The HDL had a good, healthy year going until August 24th when Gray team lost their most reliable lead-off hitter, Johnny Gonzalez, to a season ending shoulder injury.  Steven Eordogh sustained a freak injury when a missed fly ball hit him in the nose.  If Steven can workout his busy Soccer Officiating schedule to make some of the HDL post-season, he will be needed to help the Gray team make a run for the championship.  Blue team Manager, Bo McMinn has had to curtail his baseball activities the past several games while he nurses an Achilles inflammation problem.

During August, the high temperatures were taking a toll on many HDL players who were struggling with hydration stress.  Hopefully as we move into “Fall” that factor will go away.  The HDL does not want to see any players go down with an injury.  So play with-in yourself, play hard and don’t do anything you shouldn’t be doing.

Post Season Eligibility:

Reminder:  All dues have to be paid in full to be eligible for Post-Season games.  Also, if any new players have not met minimum game played requirements, they will not be eligible for post-season.

Important Reminder: 

1. Sunday, September 7th, when our final regular season games are scheduled, Tobey Park will be hosting the “Wifflestock” Tournament.  So come early to secure your preferred parking spot.

2. Another reminder, with many unknown participants to that event, please lock your vehicles and make sure all valuables are hidden in a safe location.

3. Then on Sunday, September 14th when our Post-Season Tournament Opening games are scheduled, you can expect Tobey Park will be a mess the day-after the Southern Heritage Classic Football game being played the night before.

4.  Plan to take a “Team Picture” next Sunday, either before the game or after.  Bring your camera.

If anyone has any comments or questions as we start the play-off games, please bring this up next Sunday.

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